The sting of the 36-12 beat-down the Lingerie Football League's Baltimore Charm absorbed from the Orlando Fantasy is fresh in their minds and the bruises still show on both on their bodies and in their egos. However, the players and coaches have put that loss behind them and have spent the past week re-focusing their efforts on taking out their frustrations on the expansion Cleveland Crush this Friday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, live on MTV2 at 10pm.
I spoke with Charm head coach Rick Reeder as well as a few key players about what they learned about themselves from the Orlando loss and how they can carry that forward to a victory over the Crush.
Head Coach Rick Reeder
Baltimore Beatdown: What do you see as the main reason you weren’t able to keep up with Orlando?
Reeder: We had a few things that kept us behind. One was that we were being man handled up front on the offensive line and were not aggressive enough. Second, we could not tackle on defense. We covered the pass great on defense but could not stop the run because of poor tackling. We as coaches can only do so much, we teach and drill for hours and when it came to crunch time it wasn’t there. Now that the ladies have seen the lights, the camera’s, the atmosphere of the LFL I believe that they will do a much better job this week.
(Click on the 'Jump' to read more of the interviews with Coach Reeder and his Charm players)Beatdown: What was the offense’s biggest problem?
Reeder: The offense’s biggest problem was firing off the ball and not playing aggressively. This Sunday after Friday’s game we practiced on firing off the ball and being more aggressive. You have tell yourself that you are going to blow the other side up everytime you line up on the ball. They have to play with attitude, that’s all I ask.
Beatdown: What was the defense’s biggest problem?
Reeder: The defense’s biggest problem was tackling. We had players in position to make plays but could not tackle.
Beatdown: How would you rate your QB Stacy Moon’s performance?
Reeder: I think that she did a good job for her first start in the LFL. She only had ever taken four snaps in one game last season as a QB. She was very composed during the entire game. When times got tough she stayed strong and that’s what I want in a QB. She never gave up and she battled until the end. I’m very pleased by what she did Friday night.
Beatdown: What more can you say about Kyle DeHaven?
Reeder: She is amazing, talented and very athletic. Now, her team needs to step up to her level so that we can make this playoff run. I believe that we can do it but I need Kyle’s game day attitude and approach to the game to rub off on everyone else.
Beatdown: How do you re-group and prepare your team for another game in a few days with only one real practice?
Reeder: We had a four-hour practice on Sunday. We went over what needed to be fixed. I feel much better after Sunday’s practice than I did going into it. Reason for me saying that is that they showed me that they cared that they lost and they knew that they can play better then what they did against Orlando. Orlando is a good team and I felt like we compared nicely with them but we played with less fire. Now we are pissed and ready to play. Beatdown: What should we all expect to see different against the Crush?
Reeder: What you will see different against the Crush is a new attitude and fire. We want to win, and win this weekend. We understand that we have to win to stay alive in the playoff race. We want to show the LFL world that we are for real and we can stick with the best and win. We just have to play with more fire and want the win more than the other team lined up against us.
QB Stacy Moon:
Beatdown: What did you like and dislike about your performance against Orlando? Moon: I feel like my performance was not what it could have been by far. I struggled at times because I had a lot of defensive players rushing me as soon as I made contact with the ball. On the other hand, I feel like regardless of the score I continued to hold my composure and keep the offense running. I wanted to run a play; if it failed, onto the next! And that’s exactly what happened, we continued to play until the very end!
Beatdown: What do you and your teammates need to do to beat Cleveland this Friday?
Moon: As a team, we need to understand that Friday’s game is in the past and we can’t change what happened. We need to go out there with aggression, a lot of aggression, execute plays and make plays on defense! We learned from the first game and that will not happen again!
RB Kacey White:
Beatdown: Tell me what happened on the play you were injured?
White: The only thing I remember from the play I was injured on was the shovel pass. I did not think I got passed the line of scrimmage on the play and thought the blood was from someone hitting my facemask into my nose. Needless to say, I did not think it was a big deal. When I got home, I starting feeling worse and found out what actually happened on the play. I was happy that I actually got some yards and that we scored on the drive!
Beatdown: What did you like and dislike about you own personal performance?
White: I am frustrated by my game performance, both on offense and defense. I felt I let my team and coaches down by not gaining more yards on offense. I pride myself on doing whatever it takes to get the yards we need, no matter how many people I have to go through, and I felt like I just couldn’t find a hole on Friday. On defense, I wasn’t on point with my tackles and need to work on my consistency.
Beatdown: What do you and your teammates need to do to win in Cleveland?
White: Unfortunately, I will not be at the Cleveland game due to the head injury but I will definitely be cheering my Charm on at home! We have so many girls that really understand the game and everyone on this team is a solid athlete. As long as we trust each other on the field, play to our strengths on offense, and make quick adjustments to adapt to the game, I think we will be able to pull out the W.
WR Kyle DeHaven:
Beatdown: What was it like to see the ball in the air and catching it for the TD on the game’s first play?
DeHaven: It happened so fast but I knew Morgan (Spencer) would get me the ball and I knew we were going to score before the play even started. Beatdown: How much harder was the contact in a real game compared to practices?
DeHaven: The contact actually wasn’t any harder. I probably had harder hits in practice, we just don’t play that dirty in practice. Beatdown: What did you like/dislike about your own performance?
DeHaven: We lost, so there wasn’t too much I liked about it. We didn’t play our game offensively and I can be more aggressive on defense. Beatdown: What do you and your teammates need to do to win in Cleveland?
DeHaven: We need to set the tone on defense from the beginning and take charge of the game on offense. As long as we play Baltimore Charm football like we know how, we will win.